Dallas Mavericks free agency grade: Salah Mejri re-signs
By Tyler Watts
The Dallas Mavericks officially re-signed big man Salah Mejri on Aug. 3 to a one-year deal, and we evaluate that transaction.
The Dallas Mavericks brought back another familiar face on Aug. 3. The news broke a while ago, but the Mavs finally made the move official. Salah Mejri is re-signing on a one-year deal.
Mejri is entering his fourth consecutive season with Dallas and figures to play be a reserve center option off the bench. The playing time could decrease this season with the Mavericks adding DeAndre Jordan, though.
Mejri signing grade: C-
Adding Mejri is a safe move and fans should know what to expect. Each of the last two seasons, he has averaged right around 12 minutes per game. Last season, Mejri averaged 3.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.1 blocks, and 0.6 turnovers per game while shooting 64.2 percent from the field and 57.6 percent on free throws.
The advanced metrics rate Mejri well. He had a defensive box score plus/minus of 5.3 last season and a value over replacement player of 0.9. Mejri also had 0.175 win shares per minutes (0.100 is league average).
2 drawbacks of the signing
One, Mejri is 32 years old and has never played more 12.4 minutes per game. Betting on him for significant minutes or product seems unwise at this stage of his career. He should be useful in that limited role, but nothing more.
Two, the Mavs have so many options to play at center this season. Jordan figures to play 30-35 minutes per game, so backup center minutes are going to be difficult to earn this season. Dirk is likely best as a five at this stage in his career. Dallas also has Dwight Powell, Ray Spalding, and Maxi Kleber capable of playing center minutes.
The Mavericks have more need for a wing that is capable of playing the two, three, and four. A player that can stretch the floor and play adequate defense would be a better use of this roster spot.
Expect Mejri to play well and be useful in a limited role, but adding a 32-year-old with no upside for greater production at a position with plenty of other options earned this signing a C-minus grade.
Salah Mejri is back with the Dallas Mavericks next season. Mejri will have to battle for minutes during training camp. The options at center are plentiful, and he cannot operate at any other position with success. Mejri is likely not an every night part of the rotation, but he figures to be productive when he receives playing time. Stay tuned.
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